Myth / Fact ?

“You shouldn’t rinse your mouth after toothbrushing.”

Actually yes! It is the fact that you shouldn’t “rinse” your mouth “thoroughly” after toothbrushing rather you should only “spit” the toothpaste. 

We have been rinsing mouth thoroughly after toothbrushing our whole life and this may be shocking to know. It may sound and feel gross but the fact is fact. Also, you may feel like you have been doing it wrong the whole life. Right? But don’t feel so. Previously, there used to be guideline that you should brush twice daily after meals and “rinse” mouth “thoroughly”. However, the upgraded version says you shouldn’t rather “spit” it. It may take certain time to change this habit.

Studies been conducted among the ones with not rinsing at all / spitting toothpaste after toothbrushing and among the ones with rinsing with little amount of water. Both seemed to have similar type of results in prevention of tooth decay. However, the studies been conducted among who thoroughly rinsed their mouth after brushing seemed to have comparatively lesser protection from fluoride. Thus, rinsing after toothbrushing isn’t 100% bad but for fluoride to give your teeth more protection you can either spit it completely or rinse with only little amount of water after brushing.

It is said not to rinse rather spit after toothbrushing because we dentist recommend fluoridated toothpaste. Fluoridated toothpaste contains “fluoride” which is considered as the most important cavity-inhibiting agent. Most of the toothpastes contain fluoride in one or other forms. The most common form is sodium fluoride(NaF). Therefore, it prevents decalcification or demineralization of teeth and prevents the tooth decay and cavity. 

Demineralization of teeth occurs when bacteria inside our mouth converts the food we ate into acidic form when food is left behind in between the teeth even after rinsing with water. Thus, we need to brush after meals. Fluoride we get from toothbrushing halts demineralization by the process called remineralization where fluoride incorporates with solid crystal lattice of tooth forming the strongest fluorohydroxyapatite (FHAP) which is resistant to tooth decay.

If you don’t rinse, there will be enough fluoride after toothbrushing and also the fluoride will have more time to get to work protecting your teeth. Then, you have healthier, cleaner teeth which are less prone to cavities.

However, you may be concerned about swallowing of the remnant of foams in your mouth after spitting. Usually, one tube of toothpaste contains 1-2% of surfactant which produces foams while brushing. So, as we should take only pea-sized toothpaste for brushing and pea-sized will have even lesser surfactant. So, most of them get spitted out and even if there will be any left then only least may have chance of getting swallowed which is not that harmful. Thus, you must be aware about the size of toothpaste you are using.

If you can’t get adapted with this spitting technique after brushing or it’s getting hard to change the habit, then you can start rinsing your mouth with 5ml-10ml of water but not rinsing of mouth thoroughly.

If you’re spitting but obsessively concerned about swallowing the chemicals, you can choose toothpaste which has natural ingredients like ginger oil or seaweed extracts but it must be fluoridated.

Also, you may choose non-foaming fluoridated toothpaste, by checking the ingredients and choosing the one without sodium lauryl sulfate i.e. surfactant which produces foam.

If you don’t like minty taste lingering due to spitting technique in your mouth after brushing then there are toothpastes with other flavors like orange, cinnamon and so on.

If you have habit of rinsing with mouthwash after brushing, please do it only after 30-60mins of brushing else rinsing with little amount of water or spitting out toothpaste to retain fluoride in teeth will be just like watering the sand. You can’t retain the fluoride. You can rather rinse during other daytime after any meals but use spitting or rinsing with little amount of water technique after breakfast and dinner.

At last, you should brush your teeth 2 times a day after 30-60mins of your meals(breakfast and dinner).


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